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The Quincunx

The Quincunx

All aspects are “phase relationships” between any two points in the zodiac. Some aspects challenge “right realization” or “right action,” while others bring forth harmony, understanding, and unique potentials involving those two points. So what makes the Quincunx so powerful yet so obscure?

A quincunx is an aspect of 150 degrees, with an orb of 2 to 2.5 degrees. It represents adjustment, with elements of “expansion through sacrifice” accompanying those adjustments. It should not be called an “inconjunct.” That word literally doesn’t describe the Quincunx.

All quincunxes have four possible ways of the two planets interacting.

  • A waxing forming quincunx, which takes on a 5th house quality.
  • A waxing separating quincunx, which takes on a 6th house quality.
  • A waning forming quincunx, which takes on a 7th house quality.
  • A waning separating quincunx, which takes on an 8th house quality.

The primary keyword for the quincunx is adjustment, whether for expressive and/or utilitarian purposes (the waxing quincunx) or eliminating and/or regenerative purposes (the waning quincunx). As adjustments almost always accompany some sort of sacrifice, I have found one keynote to be "expansion through sacrifice."

So a quincunx is a creative-expressive adjustment when it is forming waxing, a functional adjustment in the “health” of the two planets in quincunx when separating waxing, a relational adjustment when forming and waning, and a loss/regenerative adjustment when separating and waning. That’s why quincunxes are often associated with health issues and/or loss of some kind.

Here we must regard “health” as having a physical component, an emotional component, and a mental component. With a quincunx, one or more of these must be adjusted in some way, and perhaps a sacrifice of some sort is required, at that phase in “the whole cycle.”

Each quincunx has its own unique quality, since the waxing quincunx from Leo to Pisces is fundamentally different than the waning quincunx from Leo to Capricorn. I see it operate like a Knight in Chess. Forward or backward then to the side, or to the side and then forward or backward. At its best, it allows us to “see around corners” and make corrections as needed. I believe we have tremendous control over how it operates, as there are two productive zones generated by a quincunx.

The zones are directly related to the special evolutionary configuration known as the Yod, or Finger of God, which involves two planets in sextile with a third at the inverse midpoint making or receiving quincunxes to both the planets in sextile. The Yod has a quality of “expansion through sacrifice,” with the sextile showing the productivity available via the two adjustments shown by the quincunxes. A Yod adjusts or squeezes out whatever isn’t needed in that productive relationship.

The productive zones I spoke of relate directly to the voids created by a single quincunx between two planets. Whenever there’s a quincunx, there are also two zones created which make sextiles to the two occupied points leaving the other to be the focus of the Yod.

For example, if there is a quincunx between a planet in Leo and a planet in Capricorn, then the productive voids are found in Gemini and Pisces. Gemini sextiles Leo and quincunxes Capricorn; Pisces sextiles Capricorn and quincunxes Leo. Of note is that the Summer and Autumn of 2023 have featured numerous Yods between Leo transits and the Neptune in Pisces sextile Pluto in Capricorn. We still have one more to go at the end of September and early October.

Another example is a quincunx from Aries to Virgo. In that case, the two productive voids are created in Scorpio and Aquarius, as each of these makes a sextile to one of the planets in quincunx and a quincunx to the other. Still, though there may be productivity, it’s still an interactive field involving the “departments of labor” of all three planets in quincunx.

To address a question, I favor planet to planet aspects, and tend not to use any points except the Ascendant and Midheaven when calculating important aspects. Planets represent inner lights which test our ability to be productive rather than dysfunctional in each department of life. The Ascendant represents our “sense of self” while the Midheaven shows our public persona and general reputation.

While the Nadir and Descendant are important point of phase shifting in the “Whole Cycle,” I’m not sure that aspects to those points are as important as aspects to the Ascendant and Midheaven, since aspects to the Ascendant are useful for showing us where we're at with ourselves and how we regard our public self. Remember the houses are relatively subjective projections of our view of self/not self into life affairs. Houses represent a totally different realm than the planetary lights.

A way that a natal quincunx to the Midheaven might work (we’ll say Venus quincunx the MC) is that it could show a variety of ways at specific points in time when the MC is being conjuncted by a planet. Venus (likes, attractions, affections) is in an adjustment/sacrifice relationship with the general public self-representation. That could be anything from a career forcing the sacrifice of a relationship to someone else creating something which forces an adjustment in your public/professional self to your likes occasionally jamming your public self or profession. The possibilities are infinite. Significant transits to your MC would show the quality of the required adjustments or sacrifices.

In another dynamic example, we’ll say a planet at 30 Virgo quincunxes the MC at 30 Aries. Every time a planet conjuncts either of these points, an adjustment or sacrifice of some sort must be made, either in the Saturn function or something related to the profession. As per a previous theme, this quincunx opens up voids at Scorpio and Aquarius. The Scorpio void sextiles Saturn and makes the MC the nozzle of the Yod. The Aquarius void sextiles Mercury and makes Saturn the nozzle of the Yod.

Also, besides all the previous possibilities, in each transiting sextile there’s also the possibility of Yods being created. For example, right now we have a sextile from late Pisces to late Capricorn, creating a void in late Leo. Next year, we’ll also have a sextile from late Taurus to late Pisces, creating a void in late Libra. If you have a planet in the last degrees of Libra, next year you have a Yod coming to that planet courtesy of spiritual heavyweights Uranus and Neptune!

As you can see, if you have a quincunx (or even a sextile!) in your chart, whether natally, by progression, or by long term transit, the voids will be triggered multiple times a month by the Moon as well as by the transits, according to the season. The possibilities are infinite, so enjoy seeing how various quincunxes and Yods have come and gone throughout your life!

While I gave you a little about the Yod, here’s the larger article about it.

Astrology Class Review - The Yod, or Finger of God


Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected. 

© Copyright 2023 Robert Wilkinson

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© Copyright 2023 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com

About the author:

Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
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Reprinted on crystalwind.cawith written persmission from Robert Wilkinson.

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